Astragalus root - 23 things you didn't know about

Astragalus Root – uses, myths, benefits, and side effects

Astragalus root is a popular ayurvedic herb and has been used as a medicine for more than 2000 years. The mild sweetness of this herb blends well with home remedies and helps boost your immune system. 

Astragalus root is rich in various nutrients and has a wide variety of health benefits. It has been used by the Chinese culture for hundreds of years for prolonged and healthy life. 

Here is everything you need to know about the astragalus root.

ABOUT 

Astragalus is a perennial medicinal herb that usually grows in moderate-temperature regions. The plant looks beautiful with pink flowers, that are brimming with health benefits.

What is astragalus root?

Astragalus is a medicinal herb whose root is made into different supplements, which are responsible for its potential health benefits. The root can be used raw or can be made into capsules or powder.

Astragalus root has been used by the Indian and the Chinese culture as a medicine for thousands of years. This herbal supplement enhances your immune system and helps get rid of cough and cold.

Where does astragalus grow?

Astragalus is native to the northern and eastern parts of China. It is also grown in Mongolia as well as Korea.

an astragalus flower

Astragalus is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows well in high temperatures or sunny regions. The soil should be neutral or slightly alkaline, rich in nutrients, and remain slightly moist. 

What is Astragalus in Chinese?

Astragalus in Chinese is called ‘Huang Qi’ and is a popular traditional Chinese medicine. 

Huang Qi in Chinese translates to ‘yellow ladder’. This is because the root of the plant, which stores the maximum benefits, is yellow in color.

Is astragalus safe?

Astragalus is considered a safe herb and can be used as an effective home remedy. It has very few side effects, and less than 2% of people are allergic to the herb.

A cup of astragalus root tea

However, there have been very little researches conducted on the safety of astragalus for pregnant and breastfeeding women. So, it’s better to avoid the herb if you are pregnant or are feeding your baby.

Astragalus root boosts your immune system and its response. Therefore, it is not safe for people suffering from autoimmune diseases.

USES

The astragalus herb has over 3,000 different species, which are used to treat kidney diseases, as well as maintain your blood sugar levels. The root of the plant can be used in various home remedies or as a medicinal supplement.

What is astragalus root good for?

  • The astragalus plant helps widen your blood vessels and increase the amount of blood pumped through your body. This helps to improve the function of your heart and decreases the chances of cardiovascular diseases.

How do you use astragalus root slices?

You can prepare a decoction with the help of astragalus root slices. This decoction is full of nutrients that will strengthen your immune system and prevent seasonal allergies. 

Here is a simple way to prepare astragalus root slices decoction –

Ingredients you need –

  • ½ an inch of astragalus root
  • 2 cups of water

What you have to do –

  • Cut the astragalus root into thin slices.
  • Now add the water to a saucepan and add the astragalus slices.
  • Cover the pan and leave it aside to boil on a high flame.
  • Lower the heat and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down.
  • Strain the decoction in a cup and drink it slowly.

How often you should do this –

You should drink astragalus decoction once a day, preferably during the winter season.

How to use astragalus root powder?

Astragalus root powder can be used to make astragalus herbal tea. The tea helps to boost your heart health, kidney, as well as your liver functions. It also helps to detoxify your body.

a bowl of astragalus root powder

Here is an easy way to prepare astragalus root tea –

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 teaspoons of astragalus root powder
  • ½ an inch piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 piece of clove
  • 1 piece of cardamom
  • 1½ cup of water

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Peel the ginger and crush it slightly with the back of your spoon.
  • Now add the astragalus root powder, ginger, cinnamon powder, clove, and cardamom to the pan.
  • Cover the pan and let the water simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Strain the tea in a cup and add the honey.
  • Mix it well and drink it while it’s still warm.

How often you should do this –

Drink your astragalus root tea once a day.

MYTHS

There are a lot of myths that surround this old Chinese herb. The astragalus root has been used for centuries in traditional medicines as well as the Ayurveda. However, there a few people who still believe that the herb does more harm than good.

Here are a few myths that we bust about one of the oldest herbs on the planet. 

Does astragalus increase blood pressure?

Astragalus root dilates your blood vessels and helps your blood pass through the heart more effectively. This thus helps to reduce and maintain your blood pressure levels.

The root of the astragalus plant has strong antioxidative properties. These help to neutralize the free radicals in your body and reduce oxidative stress. This in turn keeps your heart healthy and maintains your blood pressure levels.

Is astragalus bad for your kidneys?

Astragalus root stimulates and improves the flow of blood to your kidneys. It also helps maintain the level of protein in your urine, thus keeping your kidneys healthy.

A bunch of dried astragalus plant

The root of the astragalus plant has antibacterial properties. This help prevents any infections in people who have a reduced kidney function. 

Does astragalus cause hair loss?

Astragalus root is rich in polysaccharides, which deeply nourish your hair. It stimulates and improves the growth of your hair, making them strong and healthy.

The astragalus root is rich in antioxidants which neutralize the free radicals in your body. It detoxifies every part of the body, including your scalp. This thus helps in the deep cleansing of your scalp and reduces hair fall.

BENEFITS 

The active compounds found in the astragalus root are responsible for their potential health benefits. It is rich in nutrients that help strengthen your immune system and keep your heart as well as your lungs healthy.

Is astragalus a stimulant?

Astragalus is rich in polysaccharides which help reduce inflammation in your body. It stimulates your slow immune system and improves the production of antibodies. 

The root of the astragalus plant is an immunomodulatory herb whose main function is to boost your immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in your body and enhance the functioning of your heart and liver.

Does astragalus kill bacteria?

Astragalus root has anti-bacterial properties, which kill and prevents the growth of bacteria in our body. It thus helps prevent any upper respiratory infections.

Research conducted in 2009 shows the efficacy of astragalus root in killing bacteria as well as viruses.

Astragalus root also helps prevent and get rid of seasonal allergies like the flu, and viral infections.

Is astragalus safe for cats?

Astragalus helps treat chronic illnesses in cats. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the root helps control the overactivity of the thyroid gland in your cats.

a cat drinking water mixed with astragalus root decoction

Astragalus root when mixed daily with your pet’s food, would help to strengthen their digestion and stimulate their metabolism. 

The root of the astragalus plant also helps improve your cat’s kidney and heart functions. It also enhances the DNA synthesis in your pet’s liver. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

The astragalus root improves your immune system and protects your body from infections, bacteria, as well as viruses. It helps strengthen and keep your body healthy.

Here are a few benefits of adding astragalus root to your diet 

Astragalus root is good for skin 

The astragalus root is rich in antioxidant agents, which help neutralize free radicals in your skin and body. This helps prevent premature aging of your skin cells.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the astragalus root help suppress inflammation in your skin and treat active breakouts and skin conditions like dermatitis. 

The astragalus plant is rich in polysaccharides, which detoxifies your skin and restores its natural balance.

The root also helps control the flow of blood to the wounded parts of your skin. This helps your wounds heal much faster, without leaving back a scar. 

Astragalus root is good for diabetes

The astragalus root alleviates glucose toxicity. It thus helps reduce and maintain your blood sugar levels. 

The astragalus plant dilates your arteries and increases the flow of blood throughout your body. This not only regulates your diabetes level, but also protects your kidneys from the side effects of diabetes.   

Astragalus root is good for the lungs

Astragalus root is rich in anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which prevent the growth of bacteria in your lungs. It also helps strengthen your immune system, which further protects your lungs from any infections or allergies.

Two cups of freshly prepared astragalus root tea

The astragalus plant stimulates your body’s detection response to bacteria and fungi. This enhances your antibody’s response which works to treat influenza, cold, and lower respiratory infections as well.

Astragalus root calms down your anxiety

The astragalus root is rich in polysaccharides, which is an effective antioxidant. These compounds neutralizes the free radicals in your body, and reduce oxidative stress. This helps to reduce your anxiety levels and treat anxiety disorders.

Astragalus is a natural adaptogen that helps your body resist physical, emotional, or environmental stress. It has a normalizing effect on your body and helps prevent stress disorders like depression and panic attacks.

Astragalus root detoxifies your liver 

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the astragalus root help protect and support the functioning of your liver. 

The root acts as an antioxidative agent which detoxifies your liver and your body. It also helps regulate all the chemical levels in your body. 

Astragalus root is good for arthritis 

The astragalus root blocks inflammation causing enzymes. This helps to prevent the painful effects of inflammation caused due to arthritis, before they happen.

One in every ten people suffers from arthritis. The astragalus plant is an effective antioxidant that helps stop your own body’s defense system to work against you. It thus helps get rid of back pain, joint well as knee pain.

Astragalus may help relieve asthma

The astragalus root has anti-inflammatory properties which prevent the swelling of your airways and reduce the amount of mucus produced. This helps to prevent an asthma attack.

A group of herbs along with astragalus root

The root of the astragalus plant is a strong antioxidant and boosts your immune system. This helps your body combat asthma and prevent any other respiratory infections or triggers you may be exposed to.

Astragalus helps with HPV

The astragalus root stimulates your immune system and boosts the production of white blood cells and antibodies in your body. It increases the level of protein in your body, which is helpful for the treatment of HPV.

HPV is a virus that attacks people with strained and deficient immunities. The astragalus root strengthens your immunity and thus helps your body fight this virus.

The plant is antiviral and antibacterial which helps fight off the HPV virus and prevents the growth of it as well.

SIDE EFFECTS

Just like all the other herbs the astragalus root also has a few side effects and limitations. The herb can interact with a few medicines and pre-existing health conditions. You should always check the side effects of the herb before including them in your diet.

  • Drinking astragalus tea may affect your digestive system, and make you nauseous.
  • Few people are allergic to astragalus and can experience a runny nose, itching, or a skin rash.
  • Astragalus root strengthens and boosts the functioning of your immune system. This makes it dangerous for people suffering from autoimmune diseases like sclerosis.
  • When given intravenously, the astragalus root may result in an irregular heartbeat.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid including astragalus root in their diet. This is because of the limited research conducted in this area. 
  • Astragalus root lowers down your blood pressure levels. So it should be avoided if you suffer from low blood pressure or take medicines for high blood pressure.
  • Astragalus is an anti-coagulant and thins down your blood. It may cause excessive bleeding in some people. 

FAQ

Is it safe to take astragalus every day?

Astragalus is a safe herb and can be added to your routine diet. 

Astragalus root boosts your immunity and keeps you healthy. However, some researchers suggest that you should not continue the herb for more than 4 months, as it may over-stimulate your immune system. 

How much astragalus should you take daily?

You can consume up to 5 teaspoons of astragalus root powder or a 1-inch piece of root every day.

A teaspoon of astragalus root slices

Astragalus root has varied dosage amounts. The dosage depends on different factors including age, gender, or pre-existing medical conditions.

If you are suffering from kidney problems, then 3 teaspoons of astragalus root powder twice a day would solve your issues. 

However, if you are suffering from cardiovascular diseases or wants to keep your heart healthy, then ¾ teaspoon of root powder twice a day would be enough.

You should always consult your physician before adding the herb to your diet and take an opinion on the daily dosage.

Does astragalus interact with any medications?

Astragalus stimulates and boosts your immune system, and can interfere with immunosuppressant medications. So, you should avoid astragalus root if you suffer from autoimmune diseases.

Astragalus root helps dilate your blood vessels and increases the flow of blood to your body. It thus reduces your blood pressure. So, if you eat medicine for high blood pressure, then there is a chance of possible interaction with astragalus.

Can you take astragalus and Vitamin C together?

Astragalus along with Vitamin C works well together, boosting your immunity, developing your body tissues, and improves the absorption of iron in your body.

Astragalus root along with Vitamin C works the best for children over the age of 12 months. They nourish their bodies with nutrients and keep them strong and healthy.

Is astragalus a blood thinner?

Astragalus is an anti-coagulant agent, which thins down your blood and improves its flow throughout your body. 

Freshly prepared astragalus root decoction

Due to its blood-thinning properties, the astragalus is used to help maintain your blood pressure levels. Astragalus root is also a diuretic, and increases the amount of water and salt in your urine, thus reducing your high blood pressure. 

Does astragalus tea have caffeine?

Most organic astragalus tea brands do not add caffeine to their tea powder. This is because it can undermine the health benefits of the astragalus root, and can result in anxiety and restlessness.

Buddha Teas Organic Astragalus root tea is 100% organic, gluten-free, and caffeine-free. It is rich in antioxidants, potassium, zinc, and selenium. It also has a sweet and nutty taste.

Conclusion 

Our market is pouring with new brands of herbal teas and powders every day. However, there are only a few brands in the industry that live up to the promise of pure and unadulterated astragalus root powder.

This Chinese herb has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Be it for strong hair, clear skin, or a healthy body, astragalus root stands on the top list of herbs.

The astragalus root is used in ancient ayurvedic remedies and has been proved to be quite effective. So the next time you catch the flu, make sure to brew a hot cup of astragalus tea.

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